Selected Works

Nir Hod, born in 1970, is an Israeli artist based in New York.

Nir Hod began his career in video, works in sculpture but is known for his high realism paintings. Hod studied at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy and New York’s Cooper Union School of Art. His work investigates old notions of hyper-seriousness and personal authenticity. Hod’s realistic takes on rakish narcissism examine androgyny, identity, sexual confusion, and excess. As Richard Vine wrote in the catalogue for Hod’s survey exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, “From the beginning of his career, Nir Hod has opposed the ideology that labels sumptuousness an esthetic sin. His work openly substitutes the pleasure principle and a fluid multiplicity of selves for the old notions of high seriousness and personal authenticity.” In his recent series of “Genius” paintings and sculptures, Hod depicted aristocratic young men and women whose cherubic cheeks contrast with their scornful expressions and smoldering cigarettes.

You can’t help but be drawn into Nir Hod’s pieces, so deep and magnetic is their pull. Hod’s art begs an emotional investment – or at least an investment of serious contemplation, or conversation. Primarily a painter, Hod also works in sculpture, film and canvas. He explores themes of beauty, sexuality, decadence and lost innocence. Some of his work could be described as abstract, and his paintings often have a glamorous feel thanks to his use of Old Masters techniques. Other pieces mix and merge styles and are clear depictions of the contrasts that can exist in people: that fine line between innocent and narcissistic; highly polished and slightly askew. These contrasts can feel exposing and uncomfortable to look at, but this is deliberate – Hod’s work is never naïve. His aim is not to express, or even encourage judgment. Instead, it’s to control and draw attention, invoking curiosity. Everything is raw and visceral.

EXHIBITIONS